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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wallaroo, Australia

The largest seaside town on the Copper Coast


Wallaroo Town Hall, originally built in 1902, was destroyed by fire and then rebuilt in 1919.

White settlement in what's now Wallaroo started in the the mid 1850s as the land was granted as a pastoral lease. With copper being discovered nearby in 1859, a deep water port was needed and the town of Wallaroo came into being.

The copper ore that was mined at Moonta and Kadina needed to be smeltered and so, what became the largest smelting operation outside of Wales (and largest in the Southern Hemisphere) was established in Wallaroo in 1861. The smelters operated until 1923, with the falling price of copper, the mines closed and soon after so did the Smelters. The town survived due to its port, it's used to load shipments of grain to the international market, as well as being a popular holiday destination.


During the mining era, each Christmas the rotunda was the location of Christmas carol concerts. It originally overlooked the bay, but was moved to this park in 1927. (I did the historic town walk, complete with very informative brochure!)


Loved this, still the town Fire Station!

This had been the town railway station, it still has the original signals, it's now the library.

Station sign from a genteel era, the Ladies Waiting room.


This is what is left today of the Smelters complex, the chimney stack in the distance was the largest of 12 that were on the site.

A historic photo of the Smelters from the Wallaroo museum. It shows the size of the complex.


Some more remnants of the Smelters in a redeveloped park next to the beach.



The only part of the Smelters complex still intact, this was the Smelters office, which has now been converted into heritage holiday accomodation. The beach infront is still called 'Office Beach' as it was the beach infront of the office!



The grain silos and wharf, also the ferry terminal for the ferry that goes across Spencers Gulf to Eyre Peninsula and cuts the travel time quite considerably!



The Wallaroo boat ramp, fishing is a major leisure pastime for the holiday makers and nearby residents. The boat ramp was well patronised this morning! The carpark was full of cars with their empty trailers as the owners had gone out for a day on the water. It was perfect weather with the sea totally calm. In recent years a marina has been built at Wallaroo, so people can now buy a house there and just park their boat in the backyard!



Just near the boat ramp was the wharf for the commercial fishing boats, not that many were in port.


Next to the Town Hall is this memorial. It was placed there by the 'admirers of Caroline Carleton' she is buried in the Wallaroo cemetery. Caroline Carleton's claim to fame was that she wrote the words to Song of Australia, she wrote the words as a poem and a musician called Carl Linger wrote the music. She had moved to Wallaroo to live with her daughter who had started a school there. Song of Australia had been one of the contenders for the official Australian National Anthem, but no-one outside of South Australia really knew it, so it lost out to Advance Australia Fair which was well-known in the eastern (and more populous states) in the referendum to choose the new National Anthem. Sadly Song of Australia isn't well known even in South Australia anymore and in my opinion it's a nicer song!

Wallaroo is a lovely quiet, (very quiet while I was there!) seaside town. There are nice beaches and an enclosed swimming area near the jetty. The summer months sees a lot more noise and activity in the town!  


View from the jetty, showing the swimming enclosure (called Wateroo!!) and office beach beyond.

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